A slice of Americana: Patriotic parade floats

In Washington, D.C., Earl Hargrove has been responsible for creating and crafting floats for the country's biggest political parades for the last 65 years, reports CBS News' Chip Reid.

"We have done all the presidential inaugurals since Truman in 1949, and each one has a story," Hargrove said.

Beginning with the first Missouri float for President Truman in 1949, he has put our history on wheels. He mobilized the PT-109 patrol boat in President Kennedy's inaugural parade, and the Tuskeegee Airman float for President Obama's second inauguration. President Reagan, for his first inauguration, asked Hargrove to find room for 300 members of the Morman Tabernacle Choir.

"He came to us and said, 'You build a rig to hold 'em.' Yeah we can do it, and we did!"

Nestled in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, Hargrove's memories are on display at the American Celebration on Parade.

"Everything in here has to do with Americana," Hargrove said.

One of the exhibits shows the streetcar brought to the White House after then-President Jimmy Carter requested it for his daughter Amy.

Ninety thousand people visit this slice of Americana every year.

Kurt Marisa brought his two boys to celebrate the July Fourth holiday.

"Coming to a place like this, being a retired military officer, does make me feel very good inside and very patriotic," he said.

Providing that sense of patriotism is the reason Hargrove created the museum.

"I am sure every country has these things to tell, but not like America, not like us," Hargrove said. "And I hope your heart pumps like that every time someone tells you that because it is true, it's absolutely true."

Comments

Follow Us

The Newsroom